A common trend for fashion brands in today’s society is to claim or promote features about their products which are untrue. In truth it has been happening for years, but these days companies are getting more sneaky about the way they claim these things, with a big trend towards creating a greener brand and product image, which is untrue. More alarmingly, companies are actually creating more environmental problems through their so-called green initiatives and projects, for example the planting of single tree-species to environments where they are not common and compete with native species. This issue was communicated to us by inventor, scientist, environmentalist and D’BRIS supporter Fionn Ferreira in a catch up in 2021, where he explained how the planting of trees by a well-known airline company in his native Ireland has caused more damage than good!
In a conversation that spanned over an hour with Fionn, who won the 2019 Google Science Fair for his invention of a method of how to remove microplastics cleanly from water using a natural ferrofluid mixture, he explained this is just one of the many ways that companies are promoting themselves as “green”. Due to his high profile, Fionn has been reached out to by numerous companies to promote their products as ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’, which usually he is happy to do, that is of course if their products are in fact ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ as they are being promoted as. Studying chemistry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, Fionn has access to a lab that allows him to analyse many of the products he comes across to determine where the origin of the materials in the products comes from. In addition he is able to chemically analyse just about anything that has gone into the making of the product. It is through this method that Fionn determines whether a brand is telling the truth about their products and whether they are worth supporting.
Throughout the conversation, Fionn explained that he chemically analysed our product, which he was delighted to receive. The results were extremely interesting, the main being that our shoes really are trash! Firstly at D’BRIS we claim that our shoes are made from plastic that is partially captured from the ocean. Fionn confirmed this through his analysis of the shoe, determining that some of the plastic had in fact been exposed to the ocean. This plastic comes from local fishermen near our factory in Spain, who pass on the plastic they catch in their nets to one of our suppliers, who then makes a plastic-canvas sheet for our shoes out of this and plastic gathered from other sources, like clean-ups in landfills. The soles of D’BRIS are made from Michelin car tires that we understood came from unused car tires that didn’t pass a required safety rating. However, through his chemical analysis, Fionn confirmed that the car tires in his shoes had in fact been used in a previous life, something that had not been communicated to us by our suppliers.
Probably the trashiest part of D’BRIS Shoes is the inner soles, which are made out of scraps of EVA, PU and cork, collected from the waste and offcuts of other products that are made in our factory in Spain. You will notice in D’BRIS Shoes, that all inner soles have different patterns made up from different mixtures of the recycled trash in our factory. In the case of Fionn’s shoes when chemically analysed, he was actually able to pick up traces of tobacco, from discarded cigarette butts in the factory, that were swept up into the recycled scraps and made into his innersoles! Now we don’t promote the discarding of cigarette butts here at D’BRIS, but we are happy that in this case they were put in our shoes, instead of our rivers or oceans.
The catch-up with Fionn did in fact prove that our shoes are made of trash and his word is one that we can trust. Fionn works purely on science, truths and making the world a cleaner place! We highly recommend you to check out his projects, with his main invention of a clean way to remove microplastics from water now being developed on a large scale. Fionn is also an avid supporter of people and start-ups who create and play with new ideas that add to the sparks that may ignite good changes for a better world. This is a clear goal for us at D’BRIS Shoes.